Andhra Pradesh

Vamsadhara: revenue officials suggest a way forward

‘Pay more for those most affected’

Revenue officials have come up with a proposal to address the concerns of the Vamsadhara project displaced families.

As per their observation, those who have been left out of the youth package offered by the government are the most affected. Under the package, those above 18 years had been given ₹5 lakh each. But there are 2,000 families that have not received any benefit as they did not fulfil the age criterion.

The cost fixed for construction of a house as per the 2005-06 rate has turned out to be another bone of contention for the affected families. It is alleged that the cost worked out to be less that ₹1 lakh, which they say is insufficient to even lay the foundation.

According to the revenue officials, these are the two primary concerns the have led to the clashes at the project site.

To address the issue, the officials suggest the every member of the left out families be given a compensation of ₹1 lakh. In such a case, a family of four would get ₹4 lakh, which is sufficient to construct a house at the new place and lead a normal life after vacating the villages.

Payment of huge compensation for the villagers of Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram district (where an international airport is coming up) and Kovvada in Srikakulam district (were a nuclear power plant is proposed) has also caused uproar among the Vamsadhara project displaced families.

The Land Acquisition Act-2013 has turned out to be a boon for the affected families in Bhogapuram and Kovvada. The displaced persons at Bhogapuram received up to ₹32 lakh per acre as compensation and those in Kovvada got ₹18 lakh per acre.

For the Vamsadhara-displaced, the government offered up to ₹1.5 lakh per acre as per the compensation fixed a decade ago.

But some of the displaced persons have not taken the amount due to legal tangles. They are protesting against variation in the fixation of compensation for similar structures in the villages. It is alleged that revenue officials committed mistakes in the fixation of compensation.

Officials, however, say that it is impossible to fix compensation under the new Act as 90% of the land acquisition has been completed in 2005-06.

To address these issues the officials moot payment of additional compensation to the left out families.

“For this, the government needs to spend an additional ₹80 crore to assuage the feelings of the 2,000 families that have been left out for various reasons,” says a senior official while talking to The Hindu.

According to him, any further delay in the construction of the project would lead to cost escalation.

Meanwhile, police forces continue to stay put in the villages of Hiramandalam and Kotturu.

Senior police officials, including SP C.M. Trivikram Varma, have been monitoring the situation.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 5:34:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/vamsadhara-revenue-officials-suggest-a-way-forward/article19520212.ece

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